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How Designers Use Paintings in Home Interior

Living room with large painting hanging above the fireplace

Almost all interior designers use art, including paintings, to help them create atmosphere, add life to a space, or create a focal point in a room. It is considered one of the most effective ways to enhance the interior of a home. In addition, adding paintings you love to the décor in your home tells your friends and visitors a lot about yourself. 

Although the designer can use original paintings or good reproductions of famous paintings, the trend nowadays is also to use portrait paintings depicting the homeowner’s moments and people the homeowner wants to remember and share with others. In this article, we’ll first discuss the “paint your life portraits” type of painting in more detail. Then we’ll look at some of the reasons why designers use paintings in home interiors.

Designers Like to Use Unique “Paint Your Life Portraits” in Home Interior

Nowadays, more and more designers prefer to use unique paintings of the homeowner and his family or friends as part of the décor. A custom-painted portrait always conveys a special “feeling” and is much more “personal” than any other painting. 

Therefore interior designers often ask homeowners to provide customized paintings of themselves, their relatives, friends, or things and places with special emotional value. 

The idea is that the paintings must tell a visitor to the home something about the homeowner. And apart from the effect of the painting on the overall décor of a room, customized paintings are paintings for life – especially if they are oil paintings. The paintings will still be treasured by generations and will most probably be part of the décor of future family homes. 

Customized Photos for Portrait Painting

To get customized and personalized paintings, the best is to find an artist or a reputable art studio that specializes in the art of photos to portrait paintings. The question, however, is what subject or subjects I must use when I commission an artist to paint my photograph.

The answer is simple: get a painting of something or someone you want to remember or share a story about. For example, you can commission a painting to depict a happy moment in your life or a special milestone you want to remember. In a painting, you can also depict your favorite pets or your famous holiday place. 

A well-qualified and experienced artist can combine more than one photo and leave out aspects you don’t want in the painting. Remember, when you commission photos to portrait paintings, the photos are only “guidelines” of what you want in the painting. The artist has to use the photos as “models” and create a unique painting.

It is not a “paint my photograph” exercise. The composition and depiction of the subject must be unique. You don’t want to hang a “Photoshop painting” in your home. You – and your interior designer – are looking for a professionally done original painting.  

 Bedroom with large painting resting on top of a dresser

Why Designers use Paintings in Interior Design

Let’s now look at the most common reasons designers use paintings in interior design. 

Paintings provide Color

Nowadays, home interior designers often start with a painting loved or commissioned by the homeowner before deciding on the room’s color scheme. They then choose colors to use which are found in the artwork itself or are complimenting or contrasting the colors of the painting. 

A Painting completes the Décor in a Room and creates a Focal Point

A painting is often the one element that helps to “complete” a space. A good painting can transform the whole atmosphere of a room. This is usually the result of a well-chosen painting providing a focal point in the room – and perhaps having a good story to share.

A Painting encourages Dialogue and serves as a Conversation Piece

A good painting enhances a room’s décor, encourages dialogue, and often serves as a conversation piece. It also inspires your imagination, so it is good to have paintings in your home if you have young children. Children are fascinated by paintings, and it expands their perceptions of reality. But adults also think about new ideas and experience new perspectives when looking at and discussing a painting. 

Guidelines regarding Your Photos for Portrait Painting

We’ve now looked at three main reasons designers use paintings for home interiors: they provide color, create one or more focal points and serve as conversation pieces. We’ve also discussed the trend of using customized paintings commissioned by the homeowner to give the décor a uniqueness. 

With all these factors taken into account, we’ve compiled three guidelines to help you decide what should be depicted in the painting and what should the portrait artist capture in the painting to help your interior designer make it an integral part of your home décor.  

1. The painting must introduce Movement into the Room

Whatever moment or people in your life you want to capture in the painting, ensure that the commissioned artist knows you don’t want a “static” portrait painting. The effect of movement has to be depicted and conveyed to the viewer. 

Movement in a painting helps your interior designer create a rhythm between the painting and furniture. If the movement can also translate into a good story, it helps the designer to use the painting to create a focal point in the room.

 2. The Painting must provide Color to the Room 

According to many interior designers, it will usually help them to make the painting the focal point of the room if it has striking colors or has no other color than shades of black and white. The striking colors or “the almost lack” of color can enable the designer to integrate the painting with the rest of the décor in the room. 

3. Make a Statement with the Painting

The painting doesn’t necessarily be the focal point of the room. The interior designer can use your painting to create a “conversation corner” in the room and hang it in a space where it will be visible to visitors when they are sitting down. If you are making a statement with the painting, in some way or another, it might be the starting point of a conversation. 

A painting conveys a statement when the painting is an expression of ideas and emotions in a two-dimensional visual language. Keep this in mind when you discuss the composition and “feeling” of your photo to portrait painting with the painter. The happiness, sorrow, anger, etcetera should be “visible” in the painting. This will help your interior designer to enhance the message with other décor aspects. 


More and more interior designers use paintings as an integral part of their décor planning. The trend is to include customized paintings of the homeowner’s family, friends, pets, and memorable moments.